Magnificient Mughals

Lone Wolf

Dec 4, 2006
Another one of my stories, RFC-DoC 1.9 with some modifications. Mughals, Epic, Monarch, planning for a Culture Victory. Characters in the story are semi-invented, semi-historical.

Also, since I'm big on screenshots, should I place them in spoilers?


Qutub-ud-din, the new Sultan of Delhi, perhaps for the first time in his life, felt something approaching satisfaction. A Mesopotamian warlord in service of the Caliph in Mecca, he never liked taking orders from anyone. To be sure, his position was better then that of those who were directly integrated in the Calipate hierarchy, but he always aspired to a higher position.

For a while, he attempted to plot with the governor in Baghdad in order to overthrow the Caliph. But that plan came to nothing when the governor was assassinated. So Qutub gathered his followers and went East. His attempts to conquer the Zoroastrian Persian remnants of Parsa and Gwadar were unsuccessful. To be fair to him, he didn't spend much effortin attempting to gain control of them - they were weak, poor, and too close to the Caliphate for comfort. So he went further east, to Hindustan.

The Pala empire only seemed strong. The Maharajadhiraja of Pataliputra didn't have much control over the numerous vassals and governors. With relative ease, Qutub rushed across Sind and captured Delhi, with its famous Hindu temples of Khajuraho.

In ten years, the whole of Punjab, Kashmir, Sind and much of Gujarat and Bengal passed into Qutub's control. Pala attempts to regain Varanasi, one of the most glorious cities other then their capital, were unsuccessful. A chronicler loyal to Qutub somewhat exagerratingly wrote that large, grey bodies of dead Pala war elephants covered the land so much, you could hardly see the brown earth and green grass beneath.

Varanasi was indeed a great city. As far as eye could see, Hindu and Buddhist temples dominated its skyline. The new conquerors, being pragmatically tolerant, continued to support the temples and tax the pilgrims.

Kamboja tribes in Afghana continued to struggle against the new conquerors, formally remaining loyal to the Palas. They were a far greater problem to Qutub then the Palas themselves. Constant military presence was required in order to prevent them from capturing Kabul.

It was clear that the Delhi Sultanate was going to become the new major power in India. The Chinese embassy in Pataliputra sent a mission to Delhi, telling Qutub about the Middle Kingdom and its surrounding lands. Thus, the geographers in Delhi could legitimately sneer at the scientists in Baghdad, who had only vague knowledge of China.

Last edited:
Nice to have something different than Europe/China at last :)

Looking forward to updates :)
Subbed. Hope you can withstand the British East Indies.
Is that Carthage/Phoenicia I spot...?
You got awful luck with the city placement, by the way. Takshashila :cry:
Ooh! Another Lone Wolf story! Consider me subbed.
3000 B.C. or 600 B.C?
3000 BC of course, 600 AD doesn't have Pala India, or Carthage ("Emirate of Ifriqiya") for that matter. 3000 BC allows you a chance for more religions in your immediate surroundings, which is great for more cathedrals and more culture.


The Caliph of Mecca accepted the new Sultan's rule over Delhi. Intellectual contacts between Arabia and Delhi increased, as many learned men travelled to the new capital.

Spoiler :

After Qutub died after a long reign, he was succeeded by his grandson Iltutmish (his elder son was already dead). Many Turkish nobles had high hopes on the new Sultan, since he was more energetic then his old grandfather, who also was a bit too tolerant of Hindus and Buddhists and towards the end of his life displayed interest in Taoist spirituality. Iltutmish wasted no time in affirming the nobles' hopes, by embarking on a drive to spread Islam and to build large luxurious mosques all over his dominion. He forced many peasants to work on his projects, and this, combined with a nasty drought, resulted in many deaths in the Sultanate. But the Sultan, after defeating the Pala in Rajputana soon after his accession, was popular both among the Muslim army and the Rajput warrior families, who swore loyalty to him.

A minaret built in Delhi on the orders of Iltutmish. Legends say that Iltutmish ordered the architect to be blinded so as to prevent him building an even higher building in the future.

The nobility breathed a collective sigh of relief when Iltutmish died twenty-six years after assuming the throne. His son Firoze wasn't particularly notable, besides relaxing many restrictions on non-Muslims, which by the end of Iltutmish's reign started to annoy Hindu and Buddhist landholders. He was killed in an unsuccessful campaign versus the Kambojans in Afghana in 1267.

From 1267 till 1313 the Sultanate was de-facto ruled by the Chihalgani, "the Forty", an elite group of noble families, with shot-reigned Sultans coming and going, occasionally assassinated when they tired to challenge the Forty's domination. The Forty, however, while Muslim, were quite religiously tolerant, not wishing to encourage division among the broader nobility of the Sultanate. That tolerance allowed the growth of Sufi poets of India.

He dwells not only in temples and mosques -
The whole creation is His abode.
The whole world is bewitched by His tale,
but wise are those who are lost in His love.

-Sarmad, a Sufi poet*.

In 1311, the death of Sultan Masud left the Sultanate with no male heir. However, the late Sultan had a daughter, Sharifa, to whom he willed his throne. At first, the nobility accepted the late Sultan's choice, believing Sharifa to be easily manipulated. However, Sharifa immediately proved them wrong by ordering the execution of some powerful nobles and redistributing their land among the peasantry, making an alliance with the highest layers of Indian village commune. This allowed her to succeed where her predecessors failed, recruiting the peasantry to defeat the tribes in Afghana.

While Sharifa was poisoned by a disaffected noble soon after her victory, that couldn't destroy the compromise between the old nobility and the new feudalizing upper classes and castes of the village. The Sultanate, while not expanding territorially, prospered and was secure from inner threats. In 1410, a Turkic-Mongol nobleman named Bakhtiyar seized power in Delhi, redirecting the Sultanate's armies to the task of military expansion, finally conquering all of Bengal. Mongol ancestry of the new dynasty was the reason why foreign merchants started calling the Sultanate the "Mughal Empire".

Spoiler :

Fall of Pala's ancient capital signalled an end to whatever was remaining of Hindu unity. Many small Hindu kingdoms even accepted the Mughal sovereignty, while others, as Bakhtiyar's court poets pointed out in their endless verses, would be unable to resist the military might of Delhi.

Spoiler :

*17th century IRL.
Last edited:
Wow, Taoism sure mauled some of your cities.
Why "mauled"? I'm going for culture, the more religions the better!
Mughal armies pillaged their way though Mumbai. The Kingdom of Gujarat was already in total disarray, shaken by the peasant revolts, when Mughal armies appeared on its borders. The swords of Gujarati defenders were no match for the new Mughal gunpowder weaponry.

The ravaging, greedy soldiers broke though the palace gates. As they proceeded towards the female quarters, they heard sudden screams... and a minute later, they felt a strange and rather revolting smell.

The Hindu women of the palace chose to kill themselves with fire, rather then gave themselves to the invaders. Even the pro-Mughal chronicler in Delhi was impressed by that act of defiance, writing that the swords of the Gujarati men and the hands of the Gujarati women proved to be as least as honorable as the Mughal handcannons.

But regardless of local populace's bravery, Mughal armies still advanced forward though the divided Hindu realms. By the end of the 15th century, they've reached the very south of the peninsula, subjugating the Tamil kingdoms.

The mausoleum of Padishah Selim, whose construction was overseen by Ashraf, a famous architect and orthodox Muslim theologian, was to become one of Delhi's architectural delights.

"Yeah, we believe you completely", sarcastically snipped Padishah Humayun, Selim's son, at the Arab ambassador. "You're telling me that there exists another continent, about which the geographers of old, even the most learned ones, knew nothing, but which some traders from Yemen discovered? And that the Caliph was quickly able to subjugate these peoples, despite their splendor of gold, because they knew no iron? That's impossible!"
"Your wisdom is great, o Padishah", replied the ambassador, "but in this particular case, you're wrong. Let me show you their gold and silver artwork, it's not that sophisticated compared to what your artisans can produce, but it has a strange, otherworldly charm".

An Andean silver bottle, one of the Inca artefacts shown by the Arab ambassador to the Padishah

The Inca metalworking impressed the Padishah. Next day, he issued a Firman that ordered the establishment of a philosophical school in Delhi, in order to outstrip the Arabs in their geographical learning. It took some years for the learned men all over India, Persia and Mesopotamia to come to Delhi, but in 1532, Humayun himself presided over the opening feast.

These years saw an increase of Dutch-Indian trade. European silver from Bohemian mines filled the Mughal treasury, and Mughal learned men were interested in what Western natural philosophy had to offer.

Chandra Sen Rathore, a descendant of the famous Rajput clan, now an admiral in service of the Padishah, was generously rewarded for his voyage across Africa to Spain. On the way, some African peoples accepted his mission and even sent tribute to the Padishah, while others attempted to attack him. The Spanish, however, were almost universally unwelcoming and haughty. As the people in Delhi used to say, the Franks are all the same. But he had achieved his mission. From the tales of Arabic and Dutch explorers, and from the new discoveries of Chandra Sen, Mughal learned men understood that they have the final proof of the world indeed being round, in accordance with what the ancients wrote.

In Spain, Chandra Sen had learned that the king of Peru had accepted Spanish overlordship, hoping that this will protect him from the Arabs. After his uncomfortable stay in Seville, the Mughal-Hindu admiral was hoping for Arabian success.

Spoiler :

This was the extent of the Delhi philosophers' knowledge about the world:

Spoiler :
Last edited:
Good job! :clap:
I like playing as the Mughals but I'm always low in the scoreboard.
Can't wait to see you deal with the British colonial project.
Keep in mind, that I've moved the British and French East India Company events from Economy to Rifling, which makes much more historical sense.
That is one colossal Arabia you got there.
It's not really that massive, save for managing to snap the Conquerors under Spain's nose. But yeah, that's what occasionally happens when you disable the Seljuks.

Also of note, a semi-respectable Mongolia coexisting with a strong China.
Ah, I was wondering why Arabia wasn't dead. They always cluster cities together in North Africa together.
Top Bottom